I was talking to a fellow preacher the other day about the difficulties and challenges of preaching sermons that both touch the people as well as sits under the smile of God. We talked about the inclination today to resort to tactics and tricks to manufacture a connection to the congregation that is neither real nor helpful.
When people in the congregation have a difficult week, do they have the message that God intended them to have to help them through their struggle when we don’t do our diligent work as preachers. When Grandma dies did we deny them the spiritual nourishment from the pulpit that God could have used to aid them through that struggle because of our sloth in preparation? Even though the people may shout through weak attempts to placate the congregation, God frowns on those efforts.
Preaching is hard work, and God is there to help us at every step of the way. Certainly you will not always hit a “home run,” but don’t don’t serve the people warmed over slop, tack a whoop at the end, and then relish in the misguided approbations of humanity. The people may shout, but your aren’t fooling God, and you aren’t helping your people when you serve slop in the pulpit.